• Rust Repair 1

    You may remember I fixed a rust spot some time ago. It was on the body, just past the corner, but the corner had a bit of rust, too. I painted both the corner and a rectangular bit of the body. I let Melissa mask off a bit of the corner in the shape of a lightning bolt, and we painted that bit yellow.

    As you can see from the picture, the masking was incomplete. But the kids think it looks "more electric", so it's cool.

    Two weekends later, I repaired the rest of the rust. To make the job look consistent (as opposed to "black patches"), I painted the portion of the hatch that runs between the two corners. To make it look cool, I painted it black and yellow, like a caution tape.

    Read on for the other pictures.

    Continue reading "Judebert's EV Conversion Diary: I Hate Rust 2"


  • I'm about to embark on the adventure that is iPhone development. I want to port and improve my Contraction Timer, and I have a few other interesting ideas as well.

    The only problem is that I'll need a Mac. It needs to run Leopard, so a fairly new Mac. The cheapest thing I can find is the Mac Mini; I could hook it up to my network and export its display to my other computers, so I wouldn't have to pay for a monitor. Even with the discounts I can muster, that's still more than $500! To port my software!

    I wish the SDK would just install on Linux. The thing is based off of BSD, for Heaven's sake! I'd install BSD (at least dual-boot) to learn more programming.

    Anybody want to lend me a Mac for a few months?


  • A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of the wires in my EV was getting hot enough to burn the coroplast terminal covers. This week I fixed it, despite being sicker than the dickens.

    The DIY Electric Car Forums recommended measuring the resistance of the wire by measuring the voltage drop at a known current, so I turned on my high beams and heater, and cranked the stereo. I managed to pull a reasonably constant 14.6 amps. The hot wire showed a 0.22V drop; the next most resistant wire showed only 0.02V, while most showed 0.01V.

    I didn't see any obvious problems with the wire when I took everything apart. Every problem I saw could have been caused by the heat, rather than causing the heat. I'm guessing the problem was a bad connection because the wire was bent too severely: it was a 3.5" wire in a 3.25" space. That made a rather spectacular bend.

    I cut the new wire to 3.05" (drat!), so its bend is almost unnoticeable, but it's still tight. In case the regulator leads were causing the problem, I moved them, too. Originally I just stuffed them in the clamp with the traction cable, but this time I attached them to a screw instead.

    The new wire has a 0.00V drop at 14.7 amps. Everything else is still in the 0.01V to 0.02V range. Nothing's getting hot any more. And the car made the morning trip almost 2V higher than usual! I'm so pleased!

  • Tatiana went to another Mu Alpha Theta competition this weekend. She took 9th place in the individual geometry competition! (Read on for one of the interesting problems she couldn't get.)

    Unfortunately, she suffered an injury. You don't normally associate injuries with math; it's not a rough sport or anything. But it turns out Tatiana inherited her mother's brittle feet. She severely sprained her ankle on the way to the stage.

    She's on crutches and ibuprofen.

    Update 2009-02-04: I will no longer take my family to the CentraCare on University Blvd. After 48 hours without a reduction in swelling, we took her to our pediatrician, who discovered that the leg is actually fractured. Tatiana is now in a walking cast for 4 weeks.

    Continue reading "Math Injury"

  • A few days ago we were cleaning out the car so we could fit some friends in and take them to see "Tale of Desperaux". Kayla is 6, so I figured she should be helping... at least getting all her toys out of the car.

    When we get in a hurry, we sometimes use plastic laundry baskets to delay the inevitable. So Kayla wanted to use her collapsible laundry basket. I said we were using a cardboard box for toys, and the laundry basket for clothes (they leave their socks in the car all the time.

    Kayla ignored me and used her laundry basket.

    When I found out, I told her, "No. The laundry basket is for clothes. This box is for toys. Put the trash in the trash can, the clothes in the laundry basket, and the toys in the box."

    She started crying. Inconsolably. The rest of us went on cleaning the car.

    She went to Eri and asked, "Mommy, why did you marry a person who was so bossy?"

    Continue reading "Bad Dad"